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Geographical Index > United States > Virginia > Article # 523

Media Article # 523
Article prepared and posted by Matthew Moneymaker

Thursday, February 15, 2007

[Virginia Foot is a skinned bear foot]

By Bill Freeling
The Freelance Star (

See link below to a newspaper article about the misidentified foot found in a Virginia landfill. The article has links to various photos of the decayed foot.

Articles about this story have now run in several newspapers, and internationally.

BFRO Commentary:

A Canadian member of the BFRO is a world-class bear hunter. This gentleman has skinned at least 200 bears in his lifetime. He says the photos on the newspaper web sites clearly show a skinned, hind foot of a common American Black Bear. The last digits in the toes have been cut off at the knuckles. The bare knuckle bones are protruding at the tips of the toes.

The knuckles cut off of the foot were those attached to the claw tips. They were cut away to preserve the claws (along with the foot pads) so the stuffed bear will still have claws and foot pads.

This situation happens a few times each year in America -- a decaying bear limb from a homespun taxidermy operation, is found discarded somewhere. The skinned bear limb raises attention at first because it looks so human-like. The limbs of bear skeletons look remarkable similar to human/primate limb skeletons, to the untrained eye.

Most of the time we do not post articles about these cases, unless it is obvious that the misidentification has taken on a life of its own. See prior media articles on this somewhat common misidentification:

Click here to view the original article

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